Could Tate coming in for Denard be a weapon rather than just a back up for us?

Submitted by diehardalum on September 25th, 2010 at 7:40 PM

First of all, I'm not saying that Tate performed at a level even close to what Denard has been able to do.  However, that being said, when Tate came in for Denard, our offense took on another look for our opponent to defend.  So I was thinking, if we put up more than 60 points with our starting quarterback on the sidelines then why couldn't Rich Rod use Tate to throw the defense for a loop more often? I was just wondering what everyone else's thoughts were on this.


Zone Left

September 25th, 2010 at 7:45 PM ^

This is a post I made as a smart-ass remark a couple threads ago.  That thread also was discussing your topic and is still on the front page.

Willy, who do you think should start?  I think we should start Forcier against MSU!  What an awesome change of pace!  It would totally blow Dumbtonio'$ mind to not have our All-American out there!!!  I'm so right, I'm going to start another thread about this!!!!

Jeffy Fresh

September 25th, 2010 at 7:45 PM ^

What new look does Tate give?  Denard throws the ball perfectly fine.  Denard also runs the ball better than damn near anyone in the country.  Why would you take a true dual threat out of the game to put in a 1.5 threat?  I agree that Tate did awesome and I think we have the best quarterback stable in the country at this point.  But I don't think Tate is put in unless we are up a ton of points or Denard is banged up.


September 25th, 2010 at 7:55 PM ^

I agree.  Let's pause a moment and think about that.  If someone had told us in 2008 that in 2010 we would have the best group of QBs in the country and that our starting QB and two backups all can run our offense quite well, I think all of us would have called them crazy.


September 25th, 2010 at 7:49 PM ^

Except every team we play this year already saw Tate last year...soooooooo, no.


Also, how can anyone argue that any of our backups are "crutches" after the way they looked today. Sure, it was BGSU, but UM possibly has the deepest QB position in the country.


September 25th, 2010 at 7:51 PM ^

Well I think it's always been in the cards to use the other QB's, particularly Tate as a "change up", I remember hearing coaches or players say, "whoever's got the hot hand" etc. I just think RR has been satisfied with how Denard has played and hasn't felt like he is struggling or needs to change things up to move the ball, etc. Tate is definitely an important part of the team, but I would want Denard taking the snaps as much as he's needed for now, but if RR thinks that Tate will be able to move the ball better for some reason, Tate'll play.


September 25th, 2010 at 7:52 PM ^

One of the point's RR has been making is that any one of our QBs can run "the offense." They are all running the same playbook. The change of pace people seem to be referring to is just that Tate doesn't run as fast as Denard. He played amazingly well, and I'm glad we have two solid D1 starting QBs as backups, but Denard has been so damn good that we don't have to play games with unpredictable substitutions to fool opponents. Denard fools them single-handedly.


September 25th, 2010 at 7:55 PM ^

With experience of playing on the big stage. As for befuddling an opponent by bringing in another QB with different abilities as part of a game plan wont catch too many DC's who spend countless hours on film, etc. Well, unless were playing the Washington Generals then your theory is validated.


September 25th, 2010 at 7:56 PM ^

Have a package they run with him that's a little different then the norm. It could be used to throw off defenses and give Denard a breather. He has to play smart though. The stopping of turnovers will be the big difference in the Big Ten this year.


September 25th, 2010 at 8:00 PM ^

Tate's receivers were more covered than Denard's receivers.  Why?  Because Denard is a threat to take it to the house every snap.  BGs defense did not respect Tate's running abiligy because they didn't have to.  Denard is probably the biggest mismatch in college football, and a player that forces defenses to create a brand new game plan to try to stop him.  Lets give them a heavy dose of Denard.


September 25th, 2010 at 8:13 PM ^

Absolutely he can be a weapon.  Team now are gameplanning strictly for Denard, thinknig of ways to handcuff him in the pocket and avoice his running.  Tate can come in with a completely different set of plays than what R2 has been calling (which we saw today).

Promote RichRod

September 26th, 2010 at 3:25 AM ^

RR totally opened up the playbook and pulled out the super secret Tate-specific plays that only he can pull off.



Zone read.

Run left.


Zone read.

Fucking hell, this is annoying as fuck.  We have the Heisman frontrunner.  Tate is a backup.  There is almost nothing he can do at this point to regain the start or even earn meaningful snaps ever in a game over a healthy Denard.  Some folks need to understand this and move on.

ND Sux

September 25th, 2010 at 8:13 PM ^

Hard to prepare for, impossible to run down, throws poison darts.  For me it's just great to have good backups.  Both of our backups are capable of winning games, and not just against BGSU.


September 25th, 2010 at 8:15 PM ^

look... tate was sharp today, and he brings something a little different to the table with the crisp passing attack. IMO, however, without a clear stud at tail back, D's would start to key in on him pretty quickly, I think, as they seemed to last year.

people are acting quite extreme in either direction in favor of or against tate. he' s quite clearly a D-1 level starting QB, but I don't think you can argue that he should take any time away from Denard's PT. I mean, really, people... Denard is a Tim Biakabatuka day against OSU away from 1k rush yards in under half a season. He's the man for Rich Rod's offense, without a fucking question.

I'll be impressed with his character if he actually sticks it out with Michigan, but I saw a lot of teams on TV today that would anoint a guy with his talent on the spot as a starter. The kid can throw the football and make plays.

what i take away from today is that if Denard's season happens to end in injury, this team is in capable hands with Tate Forcier, and eventually, Devin Gardner. that is a huge fucking luxury in any level of football.

nice work by (mostly) all, today! let the big ten games begin.


September 27th, 2010 at 4:28 PM ^

not just your post but most above with yours combined.  i see the positives far outweighing the negatives in playing tate a little each game in meaningful snaps for a several reasons!  1) keeps Denard Fresh from taking 'as much of a pounding' 2) allows DRob to see the game from the sideline without the pressure of the snap and his eyes may see something off the field he did not see on the field 3) helps DRob maintain a high expectancy to get back in there 4) if DRob goes down, tate has played continual meaningful snaps that will pay dividends in pressure situations!  Negatives: 1) likely would take several series worth of stats away from hiesman race!  Go Blue!


September 25th, 2010 at 8:16 PM ^

Why are people so obsessed with playing Tate?  Denard can do everything that Tate can, and he does it better.  Find me something relevant that Tate does that Denard can't do and maybe it would be a good idea. 

Slippery Rock …

September 26th, 2010 at 10:05 AM ^

Things that Tate may do better than Denard:

1) Touch on the deep ball.  Look at the few examples we have of Denard throwing a ball >20 yards.  How many of those times did he hit the WR in stride? 

2) Knowledge of offense and how to exploit defenses.  This may seem like a dumb point (Denard seems to be exploiting defenses pretty well), but I think we can expect a lot more comfort with the offense in years to come.

3) Keeping Denard Healthy


Before the MGObukkake party on me, I know that the offense is at a level with Denard that it could never reach with Tate.  As far as the perceived flaws in Denard's game, we can all agree that he has shown the ability to improve on them, and then our offense will be fully operational.


Hoken's Heroes

September 25th, 2010 at 8:20 PM ^

...Mich's offense is no where near being mature. Add more experience, better understanding of the O, maturity, etc...and the O has the chance of lighting up the score board like we have never seen before. Now, that won't matter if the D can't stop a walmart shopper in a motorized cart from scoring (yes, I was not too happy with how we tackled today), but it will be fun to watch them score.


September 26th, 2010 at 8:38 AM ^

I would hope you admit that the D did a better job of wrapping up than in previous weeks. This has been my biggest complaint over the previous weeks. Not sure if this was a function of BGSU being a "less than quality" opponent. I think BGSU was doing the majority of their damage passing on the flanks today.

D does have work to do, but I believe they are showing improvement.


September 25th, 2010 at 8:18 PM ^

Everyone else has taken care of the substance of your post, but when you say things like

when Tate came in for Denard, our offense took on another look for our opponent to defend.

I feel like you need to stay away from sharp knives.  And dull knives.


September 25th, 2010 at 8:25 PM ^

Tate is one of, if not THE best backups in college football.  But unless Denard gets hurt, Denard is having an awful game, or it is a blowout and Denard could use some rest, Denard is our QB.  It is a great feeling, however, knowing that we are so deep at the most important position in RichRod's offense.


September 25th, 2010 at 8:57 PM ^

I move that there is a single thread after every game, every week, started by a mod, that discusses all thoughts on the game, ideas spawned from said game, beliefs or feelings about the future, players you would like to see play next week, etc. etc. etc.  

Please for the love of GOD!

Or we could just bump the starting a new thread point threshold up to 500 points permenantly.


September 26th, 2010 at 5:16 PM ^

Denard is clearly the most exciting player in college football and perhaps the best athlete to ever wear the winged helmet.  He is always a threat to take it to the house.

Tate may just be a better QB.

When TF came into the game yesterday, our offense seemed to blossom in a way it hadn't when Denard was running things.  The running game (other than the QB running) seemed to be better, the passing game seemed more effective, etc. 

I hope we get to see more of both of 'em as the season goes along.  Let's make the opposing DC's jobs as difficult as possible.


September 25th, 2010 at 9:38 PM ^

Denard in the gun. Tate and Devin lined up wide. Denard thows in the flat to Devin, Devin runs the end around and pitches to Tate, crossing. Tate throws over the top to Denard in space. Initiates warp drive, accelerates to ludicrous speed, TD.


Denard in the gun. Play fake, initiate warp drive, accelerate to ludicrous speed, TD.

Its sooo much easier when you take out the middle man. Simple, really.

Wolverine In Exile

September 25th, 2010 at 10:06 PM ^

Last year, when our starter got hurt (Tate), our backup couldn't run the full playbook (which was already limited due to inexperience of our starting QB and OL). This year, the entire playbook is available down to the 3rd string QB and if needed we can voluntarily play a more conservative game since our OL is experienced and talented. This is not going to be last year.